For Immediate Release:
March 8, 2022
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Richmond, Va. – In a landmark move, the Virginia General Assembly has taken action to help dogs treated as little more than moneymakers for Envigo, a $545 million Indiana-based company that owns and operates a massive dog-breeding facility in Cumberland. Following widespread bipartisan support and a unanimous vote in both chambers of the Assembly, five animal protection bills are now headed to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk for his signature. The bills aim to address the deplorable and unlawful conditions for beagle dogs and puppies at Envigo’s Virginia facility, which PETA exposed in a damning investigation late last year.
These are the bills heading to Youngkin’s desk:
- Senate Bill 87 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) and House Bill 1350 (Bell R-58) prohibit dealers and breeders from importing or selling dogs or cats bred by anyone with certain federal Animal Welfare Act violations on and following the bills’ effective date of July 1, 2023.
- SB 88 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) requires dog and cat breeders to maintain and report to the state records of all the animals they sell for experimentation for two years after each animal’s sale date.
- SB 90 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) requires dog and cat breeders that breed animals for experimental purposes to offer “surplus” animals for adoption prior to euthanasia.
- SB 604 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) clarifies that dogs and cats in the possession of breeders that sell animals for experimental purposes are protected by cruelty-to-animals laws.
“Once signed by Gov. Youngkin, these bills will mean that the thousands of gentle beagles confined at Envigo will finally have some protections and safeguards afforded to them by Virginia law,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “The Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection is deeply grateful to members of the Virginia General Assembly, who voted unanimously to pass these commonsense measures to hold Envigo accountable for its inexplicable and inexcusable violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.”
The Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection (VCBP) was formed in response to the crisis of care at Envigo and is led by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies (VFHS). The coalition represents dozens of animal welfare organizations from across the Commonwealth and hundreds of thousands of Virginia residents concerned about animal protection. Throughout the legislative session, the VCBP kept Virginians engaged via its Facebook page, which has nearly 10,000 followers and has reached more than half a million caring Virginians in recent weeks.
Virginia legislators will learn of PETA and others’ gratitude when they spot this billboard, which will run in Richmond in coming days.